Following a traumatic spinal cord injury, a person’s world can seem cold and alien – a long stay in the hospital and time spent in a rehabilitation facility, not to mention the physical and emotional challenges of coping with new limitations. Returning home should be a happy occasion, but for the disabled it’s rarely as simple as picking up where they left off.

The transition from the hospital and rehabilitation facility to life at home can be a rocky one, particularly for sufferers of spinal cord injury, which often makes previously simple tasks impossible. Slight modifications or major renovations to the home are common. And for renters that can mean embarking on a search for accessible housing.

Before the patient returns home, experts in home modifications and assisted living (occupational therapists, rehabilitation specialists, etc.) will typically perform an in-home consultation to help determine the best course of action. They may have simple solutions such as installing a wheelchair ramp or railings in the shower, or more intensive renovations like expanding doorways and washrooms to accommodate a wheelchair or installing an elevator. In extreme cases, they may deem the house unsuitable for a person living with traumatic spinal cord injury and other suitable accommodations will have to be located and appropriately renovated.

The greatest barrier a newly disabled person faces can be a loss of independence – an inability to come and go as they please, to do simple tasks like laundry or use the washroom, to engage in the same rewarding hobbies or activities they did as before. That’s why fair compensation for home modifications following an injury becomes vital. The law in Ontario generally gives the injured person the right to remain in their own home with their family and to be put in as similar position as is reasonably possible had they not been injured.

Working with someone qualified to assess home needs and with an experienced personal injury lawyer, a spinal cord injury victim can achieve the fairest possible compensation from the insurance company or a judge.

Horowitz Injury Law specializes in cases of traumatic spinal cord injury and understands the complex and changing needs of injury sufferers. To learn more visit